A transgender woman was stabbed to death in a park in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood early Saturday morning.
The 33-year-old woman was sitting on a bench at Harlem River Park when her attacker approached her, witnesses told police, according to the New York Daily News. An argument ensued; one witness said it was over a wig. The attacker then stabbed her in the neck and fled on a scooter. Police arrived about 1:30 a.m., and the victim was taken to Harlem Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The victim’s name has not been made public, but a friend identified her by the nickname Lexi. The friend, Lavonia Brooks, told the Daily News Lexi had taken a wig off another trans woman’s head earlier in the evening.
“What happened last night was uncalled for,” Brooks said. “It was all over a wig, a fucking wig.”
“I really looked up to [Lexi] because of her tolerance and respect,” Brooks added. “Lexi had a beautiful heart; she was very gifted.”
No arrest has been made. Police are seeking surveillance video from nearby businesses that may help identify the attacker.
The victim is the fifth trans American known to have been murdered this year.
Cecilia Gentili, cochair of the New York State LGBTQ group New Pride Agenda, issued the following statement:
“We are devastated by the murder of a young transgender woman this past weekend.
“Too often the lives of members of our trans community are at risk and too many are senselessly killed. This is particularly true for trans women of color who are seven times more likely to be murdered than a member of the general population.
“Our hearts go out to the friends and family of the woman who lost her life.
“We are grateful to New York City personnel for their efforts in responding to this tragic incident and we are thankful for their efforts to navigate the situation with sensitivity and respect.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted about the crime: